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LD004643578 09-28-2010 12:22 PM

No cold water in the morning
The past two days I've had no cold water in the morning. Water comes out of the cold taps, same pressure as always, but it's lukewarm at best. The hot water is fine. It's been chilly at night so the water comes out cold at first but then changes to warm. I've noticed a slight gassy smell right when it changes to warm (sorry to be crude but fart-like is the best description I can think of) and then the smell goes away. I've let it run for a while and it stays warm. Both days I came back home around noon and everything's back to normal for the rest of the day. I haven't done anything lately that would affect the plumbing. It's a 100+ yr old house, I've been here about 7 years and never had any plumbing issues before.

Any ideas? I've searched and haven't come across anything that sounds like this.


AllanJ 09-29-2010 08:18 AM

Some hot water from the water heater may have backed out into the cold pipes because there is no expansion tank for the water heater. Water expands slightly when heated.

The cold water pipes may pass through a wall in a fairly warm part of the house, or other warm area.

LateralConcepts 09-29-2010 08:31 AM

Could also be a failed mixing valve (single handle faucet) bleeding hot water into the cold side.

The smell if it's rotten egg, sulfur type smell, could be a bad anode rod in the water heater. Replace the heater if it's time, and/or replace the anode rod with stainless steel

AllanJ 09-29-2010 04:11 PM

Water heater anodes are usually made of magnesium. In the event the magnesium rod is incompatible with your water you get odors. You would replace the rod with an aluminum one but it is possible that the corrosion of the tank will be increased a little although not as much corrosion compared with no anode rod at all.

(If an aluminum anode retarded corrosion of the steel tank just as well as magnesium, then magnesium, which is more expensive, would never have been used.)

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